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stephengmarshall

Norway : Tue Oct 05, 2010
Hope you saw last blog!! Check it out two in one day!!On from Bath to Stratford Upon Avon – Shakespeare Country, first stop was Anne Hathaways’ house, wife of William Shakespeare.  The cottage was where Anne grew up and where William and Anne had done their courting.  The house still had the original courting chair as they used to call them centuries ago.  Anne was 7 years older than William when they had to get married William only being 18 years of age. The cottage was set on a few acres of land with a lovely woodlands, apple orchard and statue garden.  We spent a few hours there, a very pretty place and then on to our B&B.  A walk into town across the River Avon and a few more stops at William Shakespeare destinations, house where he died, home of one of his daughters and Husband and the cemetery where the family is buried.  That night we had dinner at one of the Calluccio restaurants which completed another lovely day.    A drive to Mary Arden’s farm, mother of Shakespeare, the next morning which was a few miles out of town.  This farm was a working farm with people dressed in period clothing, cooking food from the period from animals still being raised there today.  It was amazing how the upstairs bedrooms filled with smoke as they cooked their meals on the huge open fires.  It is said that they all slept sitting up because the devil would take them if they slept lying down, we thought it would be more from smoke inhalation I think that was a cause as well.  The people working on the farm were real Shakespearians and they spoke with such passion when telling you about the family and the surrounding properties. We then headed back into town and went to Shakespeare’s birthplace which completed the Shakespeare picture.   Unfortunately the theatre was closed for an upgrade not reopening until next month.  We then walked along the river and watched some locks in operation and checked out the narrow boats dotted along the banks.   Wednesday we decided to head towards Blackpool and before we left as always the host at the B&B asked where we were heading to and we said Blackpool.  Great he said they have a light show there, good and we told him about the one that we had seen in Hong Kong, no he said it won’t be like that – oh we thought how could it be that different, anyway he said just keep in mind it can be a bit tacky.  Tacky we thought, we thought that we had seen tacky but no all was revealed when we arrived in Blackpool.  Probably our interest with Blackpool came from Coronation Street when Vera & Jack went there for their summer holidays and that should have told us a story – oh a bit of fun to be had ahead.   Luckily we hadn’t prebooked accommodation; this was one day that I didn’t mind.  We could not believe it, bigger and more brash than Brighton, B&B’s, arcades, Piers oh and once again we can not forget the Fish n Chip shops all the way along the promenade.  The promenade stretched along probably more than 5 kms.  We headed down the south end of the beach and decided we had better get somewhere to sleep, I was thinking I might just like to head out of town hehe.  The first hotel I went into seemed ok, 84 quid for the night with breakfast, no wifi in rooms though, I could try a newer hotel down the road they would have wifi in the room I was told, that’s ok I thought, would I like  showed me the room, oh my gosh no I wasn’t going to stay there.  I quickly gapped it out the front door dived into the car, gave Steve the bully and we promptly smoked it out of their car park to drive down the road and see if we could find this new hotel.  Luckily we did and wPleasure Beach outside our Hotel windowhen I went into see if I could get a room I asked the girl was the room nice, she looked at me strangely and said this is a new hotel, how many stars, 4 was her reply and the price was right so all was good for the night.  We got our gear and went to our room before heading out to walk the promenade and find somewhere for dinner oh and not to forget the lights which were turned on at 8.00 pm and we could catch a tram if we wanted to run the length of the promenade.  Actually out of our bedroom window was Pleasure Island theme park and we had a roller coaster screaming past our window every 5 minutes but that was fun to see.   In Blackpool although one beach they have a number of so called beachless beaches.  South beach, Pleasure beach, Myrtle Beach and North Beach.  If it was indeed Pleasure Beach I have never seen so many unimpressed people in my life, ….happy….NOT!  Geez these people look rough.  Never seen so many Mohican haircuts in my life, not even in a 1960s western movie.  Mind you the weather has cooled so that maybe why.  Virtually every shop sells Blackpool Rock, that is the candy with the writing down the inside; I remember that from my childhood days, best price seemed to be 7 pieces for 1 pound.  The entire waterfront wall to wall hotels or B&Bs, some very sad looking indeed.  Then the streets leading off the promenade were all B&Bs too, literally thousands of them and what was interesting was all the people on motorized scooters, it’s big business here we came across 3 shops within a small area.  Unfortunately with some of these sad looking people comes the gambling, the Arcades, the amount of bingo outlets calling you in, and the buy gold for cash shops that were everywhere.  We have been to Amsterdam where they have legalized cannabis and seen the culture and we have now been to Blackpool and seen what the pokey machines and arcades draw in – it’s not a great sight.   Well yes even we got sucked into the gambling, only a small amount but we needed to go to the toilet and Coral Island looked ok, well the machines, the lights and the music draws you in.  All that money could be yours just sitting on the shelf ready to fall off we must be able to win.  As you all know that we are pretty tight I thought I would chance a pound 50, 2p pieces that go into a machine with shelves moving back and forth, first haul we only lost 12p then it was all gone hey well we had a bit of fun, but you look around and see these old punk rockers with babies in pushchairs and you think how sad, what a way to spend a day.   Anyway plenty of fresh air and walking (probably about 20ks one day) was done in Blackpool and the lights were great, we will attach some photos, once again it is time to move on.  Next stop Edinburgh in Scotland.  

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